Thursday, August 30, 2012

on having adventures and being productive too

last week we had a few things we needed to get done as the noon hour {or mid-day as they call it here} hit. they were:
1. take out money from the bank
2. mail a package of pretty ugandan jewelry to my sister in law
3. buy some chapatis {pregnancy craving and the boys love 'em!} to accompany our lunch

so we decided to go on a family adventure into mengo - a nearby area of kampala. we drove and parked at the hospital nearby and first went to get some money.
that was easily accomplished after jamie picked up jude to cross the road and noah tugged at my arm to "RUN!" across the road at the first break in traffic.

next up was to find the mengo "posta" {post office}. we knew generally where it was, but inquired after two more people before we found it. i had to buy a bigger envelope to fit all my goodies in but the posta didn't sell them. nope. it was the little hut just outside the posta that sold everything from pepsi and snacks to airtime for your mobile and envelopes. i bought one for 500 shillings. {2500 shillings = 1 canadian dollar to put it into perspective}.
the package cost 43,000 shillings to mail and i'm hoping my sister in law gets it by mid-september. mail seems to work a lot faster going out of uganda than it does coming in.

finally was the chapatis. jamie knew the area better than i did so he directed us to the line up of little stands selling chapatis, samosas, sodas, airtime and rolex. no. not the watches. a rolex is a local snack that's made up of a chapati rolled up with a fried egg and often some vegetables like onions and tomatoes inside it. it's good. but it's all fried. so i limited myself to one per year. and i've filled that quota already. ha! we picked up 3 chapatis and watched while they were being made. it was sunny and the boys were hot from walking back up the hill from the posta so we bought them a mango juice and the people around laughed and smiled as they drank from 2 straws and literally chugged away the entire bottle while the chapatis were being made.

it was quite the accomplishment for me being pregnant and walking around, but mostly? accomplishing THREE things in just over an hour. seriously. you're lucky if you can accomplish three things in a day around here.

noah was wearing his manchester united jersey {the kid is already a huge fan. he insists on often wearing his jersey two days in a row if he can get away with it.} and the ugandans liked to call out after him, "manchester united!" or "wayne rooney!" {i had to explain to noah that wayne rooney is a player on the man u team. he asked if he was a boy or a man and didn't really seem to understand how they could mistake him for a man. i didn't bother to inform him it's because he's white, has short hair, and a round-ish face.} ugandans generally love kids and will call out "baby!" after them. yes. even my almost 5 year old gets called "baby". jude really doesn't like being called "baby" and at the craft market that we frequent they actually know him as "the big boy" because he has yelled back at them, "i'm NOT a baby, i'm a BIG BOY!".

ugandans here in the city aren't the most friendly right off the bat. often they'll just stare at you. but say "good morning!" or "good afternoon!" to them and watch if their face doesn't light up into a big smile at you. especially if you're pregnant. or have kids. it's not what i thought it would be, but i realized that often if i don't make the first move, then all that happens is me getting stared at and feeling uncomfortable.
so there are similarities. life in the city is life in the city - no matter where you are. whether it's toronto or kampala. if you don't take the initiative to smile and say hello, chances are no one will do the same to you.

so smile and say hello to someone today and you just never know what might happen!


  1. i have a feeling Dakota would be known as the 'big girl' :) she always corrects me when i say she's a little girl.

  2. i loved this entry. I feel like I got to see a glimpse into life where you are. I also agree about taking the initiative to say hello and watch people's faces light up. :)

  3. This post feels like I'm hanging out with you and catching up on what life is like in Africa... thanks for the glimpse. :)

    1. Thanks, Bekki. I realized I don't often give the more "African" glimpses into our life here. I knew after we made that trip that I needed to blog about it. So typical of life in Kampala. I only WISH we were hanging out and catching up! :)


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